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On the Record with Derek Allan of the country duo October Rose (Includes interview)

“I think 2020 has been an emotional roller coaster for everyone,” he said. “On top of the social and political issues, the very real threat of losing loved ones to a novel virus has been tough. As independent artists, we’ve worked tirelessly for four years to build a business and COVID-19 has presented some serious challenges that we’ve had to overcome.”

“On a positive note, this has been an extremely productive time for me as a songwriter,” he said. “With less live gigs, we’ve been able to write a good amount of new music and my partner (Leanne Weiss) and I have been able to continue to build a deeper connection with our fan base, The October Rose Army, via live streaming.”

Regarding their plans for 2020 and beyond, he said, “Originally we had planned on reaching new touring destinations with bookings across the country but given the restrictions in place, we have had to adapt like many other artists. My primary focus is on getting new music out for October Rose. We plan on dropping two new singles before the year is over and recording more for 2021.”

“Ultimately, our goal is to become a brand name in country music meaning hit songs, a record deal and awards for ‘Best Country Duo.’ In order to make that happen we are also focused on expanding our network and plan on spending more time in Nashville,” he said.

When asked about his songwriting inspirations, he shared, “Songwriting is really a love for me and has always been a part of me since I was kid. The inspiration really can come from anywhere-movies, TV, my life, or a friend’s stories. At the end of the day, I’m just really chasing the feeling of bliss I get when I finish a new song.”

“What I’ve learned, however, is that not every song I write is meant for me or for October Rose and that is okay. The songs I choose for myself have to reflect who I am as a person and artist. The songs we choose for October Rose have to reflect our brand which we’ve cultivated over the past four years,” he said.

On the origin of October Rose’s band name, he said, “Naming a band is really hard. There are so many good names that are already taken. Leanne and I were on a mission to find the right name and had discussed it for weeks. The names we had come up with prior to landing on ‘October Rose’ sounded like little league baseball teams.”

“We didn’t want to be the ‘Crushers’ so we had to keep going. Ultimately we decided we wanted to use Rose as a part of the name since it is my grandma’s name and Leanne’s mom’s middle name. One day, we were in the kitchen in October of 2016 discussing names and we had on the table a posted note that said ‘October things to do.’ Most of the posted note was obscured by other papers and all that was sticking out was October. So Leanne said what about ‘October Rose?’ That was it,” he explained.

On being artists in the digital age, he remarked, “I have a mixed view about it. On the one hand, you can say it has never been easier to get music out there but at the same time it has never been a more crowded space. I think at the end of the day, the fundamentals of music are the same as they’ve always been. Get the right tunes to the right people and you will do well.”

For young and aspiring artists, he encouraged them to stay healthy. “Take care of your health, if you want something done, don’t be afraid to do it yourself, and really think about who you are as an artist and try to be as authentic to that concept as possible,” he said.

On his dream female duet choices in music, he responded, “Luckily, for me I’m already living that dream. I’m singing everyday with my favorite female artist Leanne Weiss. If I had to pick two other artists to sing with it would probably be Celine Dion because she’s the best and Gabby Barrett, another Pittsburgher like me, who has been killing it.”

He defined the word success as follows: “For me, I think success is about achieving the goals you set for yourself. I think a lot of high achievers have lofty goals and that’s why people who on paper seem like they are successful, don’t feel that way but it keeps them pushing for greater achievements. I think success will always be fleeting but that doesn’t mean we can’t be satisfied with our achievements.”

Allan concluded about October Rose, “I personally think there is no other band or duo in country music that is making music like us. We have two new singles to release this year and more coming that are going to light up country music. We’d love to invite fans and readers to learn more about us at our website where they can sign up for the October Rose Army, our fan club, for free.”

“Kinder” by October Rose is available on all digital service providers by clicking here.

To learn more about October Rose and their music, check out their official website and their Facebook page.

Country duo October Rose

Country duo October Rose
Laura Desantis-Olsson

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 19,900 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a seven-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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